Readers charged Vogue magazine’s Italian edition with racism when it spotlighted gold hoop earrings, calling them “slave earrings.”
According to The Huffington Post, an article in Vogue Italia about the fashion fad featured a picture of a White model showing off the hoops and a short description.
“Jewelry has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings,” the article stated. “The most classic models are the slave and Creole styles in gold hoops. If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.”
Furious readers denounced the statement in comments posted on the article, while others took to Twitter to voice their disapproval. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, changed the original wording to “ethnic earrings” and made a statement in the comments section.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” Sozzani wrote. “It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English. The Italian word, which denotes those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into ‘ethnical style earrings.’ Again, we are sorry about this mistake.”
Supermodel Iman said that while she’s a fan of the magazine, she was displeased by the post.
“I’m a huge fan of Franca Sozzani and Vogue Italia’s website because they have a whole section of Black models…But yeah, I didn’t like it,” she told StyleBistro.com. “Slave does not make it ethnic. Mind you, it’s not lost in translation. the word slave, we know what it is. They might as well have called them nigger earrings. For somebody like Franca Sozzani, who did that whole Black issue for Vogue, somebody should have said something.”